Chris Wilson

Emmanuel Iduma

Emmanuel Iduma


Emmanuel Iduma

The cover of Documents magazine (Issue 1, 1929)



Emmanuel Iduma

Monkeys as Judges of Art (1889) by Gabriel Cornelius von Max

1. Criticism is being involved

2. Criticism is an offering

3. Criticism is “a genre unto itself”1

4. Criticism “is crises”2

5. Criticism is generosity

6. Criticism is looking at a work of art long enough for it to speak to you

7. Criticism tries to negate that art is an it

8. Criticism says, forge clarity out of language

9. Criticism is like romance, all the highs and lows

10. Criticism is disassembling a subject and failing to couple it together

Sean Gasper Bye

I sometimes try to stop and feel the pain of people reviewing translations. Knowing that the translation is a key part of the text, but rarely able to read the original, reviewers must make educated guesses about what the translator has done right or wrong, and what has been added or subtracted. This is a challenge: do you credit the author with structure, characterization, and pace, and credit the translator with the flow and musicality of the prose? It’s rarely so simple—indeed, a poor translation can cause structural problems with a book.

Shaun Randol

"We have a Cold War on the Russian soul," said Mikhail Shishkin. Lines are drawn, barricades are up. On one side are the nationalists and isolationists who proclaim Russia to be the center of the world and a power to be reckoned with. On the other side of the barricade are the internationalists who see affinity with Europe and a greater, global cosmopolitan attitude.

Shaun Randol

Shahrnush Parsipur’s writing career began in 1974 with the publication of her first novel, The Dog and the Long Winter. She's been in trouble with Iranian authorities ever since. Today, with more than twenty novels, short story collections, and translations under her belt, Parsipur lives in California. While she has always written in Persian and her fiction has always been about Iran, Parsipur does not consider herself to be a writer in exile.

Patricia DeGennaro

President Barack Obama and his national security team are no doubt making final preparations for the upcoming trip to Israel. Obama already began to lay the groundwork for his trip by sending messages to the Israeli leadership who remain fanatically wed to coercing the United States to go to war with Iran. And it seems the coercion is working. The president's message had nothing to do with peace. "All options are on the table," he professed to an Israeli news outlet.

Shaun Randol

In this essay, Shaun Randol wonders if, after forty years, John Berger's Marxist take on European oil painting and modern advertising is still relevant, and whether the feminist social critic Camille Paglia has lost her edge.